Good news, we got our first egg from the Buff Orpington hens Sunday!! YAY!! It was a good size too for a first egg but then again, they are the biggest hens I have ever had! Good girls! :)
Until they get up to full production, I bought a couple dozen eggs from one of my friends. She has a mixed flock of 23 hens that are in full production and she has eggs running out her ears! LOL!! I wanted to show ya'll the lovely variety she gets from her girls.
That is one of the most beautiful dozen eggs I think I have ever seen! :)
It is finally the end of February and I can start my seeds for the summer garden! YAY!! I have been itching to get them going but I didn't want to start them too soon (like last year) and have to transplant everything two or three times to bigger containers. I will transplant the tomatoes a couple of times though just because they seem to like it! :)
The tomato seeds are Dr. Wyche's Yellow, German Johnson (pink), Earliana (new for me), Yellow Pear and Sweet 100. The peppers are Red bell, Green bell, Jalapeno and Pepperoncini. The eggplant are both Italian heirlooms that I have grown for several years and really like, Listada de Gandia and Rosa Bianca.
Everyone is labeled and the containers are put into plastic bags and closed up.
I have this awesome, totally wonderful, south facing window that I use to start my plants! Did I mention how much I love this window?!? This will be my third year doing it this way and I have had really good luck with germination rates and growth. I have cut WAAAYY back on my summer garden this year because I intend to only grow enough produce for us. The past two years, I was growing produce to sell at the Farmer's Market. I'm linking up to The Country Garden Showcase hosted by Heidi at My Simple Country Living.
Jerry's mom makes The.Best.Cheesecake.EVER!! We are taking her to the rodeo today so she is staying with us for the weekend and she brought us a cheesecake to enjoy! What a nice mother-in-law, huh?!? :)
I really like this recipe because it is very easy, rich and creamy, and turns out beautifully every time!
2 cups graham cracker crumbs **Click here to print this recipe**
1/2 cup butter, melted
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
16 ounces sour cream
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press onto bottom and halfway up sides of a 10-inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, sugar and vanilla and mix well with an electric mixer. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven undisturbed for two hours.
Top with desired topping and enjoy!!
Okay, I promise this will be the last of the rodeo pictures, well...maybe one more for Sunday! The good news is that ya'll haven't seen any of these pictures yet. :) If you missed the prior posts with great, full color action shots of the La Fiesta De Los Vaqueros Rodeo you can see them here and here.
I wanted to play around with some photo editing on a couple of the pictures to give them a vintage feel. I added the sepia tone while the pictures were still in the camera, there is an option on my camera for black & white or sepia. I used the vintage effects option on Pixlr for the overlays and frames, what a cool, cool site and it's totally FREE! I used a different overlay and frame from Pixlr on each picture.
Since I have more pictures from the rodeo that I would like to share with y'all I thought it would be fun to link up with Wordless Wednesday at Photograpgy by Kent Weakley this week. I really like this series of pictures of one of the saddle bronc riders and feel that they don't really need any words! :)
One of Jerry's buddies gave us box seats to the rodeo this past Sunday! Yee-haw!! We try to go every year and this year, we are actually going to go twice, last Sunday and this coming Friday. We are taking Jerry's mom on Friday and bought tickets for the VIP tent since she doesn't get around all that great. These are the Catalina Mountains to the north of Tucson. I liked the clouds in this shot.
I took 532 pictures Sunday. That. Is. A. LOT. Of. Pictures. I'm so glad I didn't have to buy film and get it processed like in the "good old days!" Yikes!! I actually got a little bleary eyed going through them all deciding which ones to keep and which ones to post and, just so ya'll know, there will be more rodeo pictures this week. You have been warned! ;-)
First, the Rodeo Queen brought in Old Glory and we had the singing of our National Anthem.
Then, the rodeo got underway with one of our favorite events, bareback riding. Jerry actually did bareback riding back in his 20s. He says he did that as opposed to saddle bronc because he couldn't afford a saddle! :)
Next up was the steer wrestling.
Then came the saddle bronc riding, my second favorite event. I love this picture! :)
The guys had a little trouble with the tie-down roping, I think this cowboy was the only one who got his steer tied within the time limit!
The ladies did an outstanding job in the barrel racing! :)
There was also team roping but we just weren't in a good spot to get any pictures of that event. Of course, we HAD to have a rodeo clown, this guy came all the way from Canada!
It was "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" Sunday at the rodeo to benefit Breast Cancer Research.
And it's always mandatory to put the rodeo clown in the barrel for the bulls to play with! :)
Finally, the event that most everyone really comes to the rodeo to see, the bull riding! The fella in the back with the pink shirt and the black hat is the stock contractor, Bennie Beutler, his family has been providing awesome livestock for rodeos for three generations!
Well, that's it for this week's edition of Tuesday's Tails! Hope ya'll enjoyed the La Fiesta De Los Vaqueros Rodeo!
The Santa Rosa has gone plum crazy! (Snicker, snicker!)
As you can see, the fruit trees were unfazed by last week's snow storm. Jerry had fertilized them recently and with the moisture, they are really taking off. The temps are going to be in the 60s and 70s here all week and I hope that was the last of the colder weather. We have been known to have a hard freeze as late as the end of April though.
I also wanted to include this picture because I really like the early morning shadow on our "Barrio" fence! :)
The plants in my little garden are all doing pretty good too. These have still been covered with the plastic.
My snow peas, on the other hand, have not...wish I could figure out "who" is eating them! Grrr! I believe I have the garden pretty rabbit proof but it could be a rodent of some kind or even the silly little birds who have claimed the garden as their own. We took down a bunch of fencing that I was using for trellis in the garden and I'm going to try to make some hoop covers to see if that will help protect the plants.
Today, I would like to share a picture of some of the beautiful winter produce that I have recently picked up at the Farmer's Market, been gifted from my friend's garden and harvested from our garden. This is part of our ongoing effort to try to eat locally and to include more in-season produce.
I like to have something welcoming on the front door all the time. I have several seasonal wreaths, some made out of wood, some made out of metal, and I display them for the appropriate holiday/season. I bought this chile ristra at the Farmer's Market in December and put it on the front door as soon as the Christmas wreath came down. I like it so well that I didn't even change it out for the Valentine's wreath! LOL!!
A chile ristra (the spanish word for "string") is a braided string of dried red chile peppers; ristras are often seen in homes throughout the southwest. They can be simply decorative but they were originally devised as a way to dry and preserve the chile peppers for later use, sort of the way onions and garlic are preserved. Red chile is a staple in southwest cooking and this treatment will allow the chiles to be preserved for about a year. Today, chile ristras are still used for this purpose but are also often hung in front of homes to welcome visitors and bring good fortune to those living within.
I like the cheery and welcoming look it gives to the front door! :)
What do you hang on your front door to welcome family and friends and to bring good fortune?
My blogging friend, Jaime, of Ngo Family Farm recently did a post on this cute soap dispenser. You can find the complete tutorial posted by Julia at Blissfully Content. You can read Jaime's post here which also includes a homemade citrus cleaner and her homemade vanilla extract project. By the way, Jaime takes the most amazing photographs, you really should check out her blog!!
This soap dispenser took me maybe all of 10 minutes to make! Seriously!! It took longer for the glue to completely dry than it took to do the assembly! LOL!! I have had this cute canning jar lying around for awhile and only ever use it for storage so I thought it would be the perfect container to use. I think it looks much more "country" than a store bought soap dispenser and probably a little classier than a bottle of dish soap sitting on the counter! ;-) Check out Julia's tutorial to see just how easy it is to make and be sure to visit Jaime for some lovely photography, great recipes and cute, cute pictures of her baby!
It was so beautiful Saturday afternoon that we were sitting out on the front porch and then yesterday afternoon, it SNOWED! Crazy weather everywhere this winter!!
By evening, it had all melted away, except in the shady spots, and it really didn't get that cold last night so I still have hope for my fruit trees.
Is this not a pathetic face?!? He really wasn't cold though, he was romping around in the snow just a few minutes after I took this picture! :)
It seemed like a perfect day to make some soup for supper and I decided to go with a Chicken Corn Chowder. I don't have a recipe, per se, just a "method" as Rachael Ray likes to put it. ;-) I simmered a bone-in, skin-on chicken breast in a pot with some onion, garlic, bay leaf and spices and then shredded the meat and used the stock for my soup base. I diced a couple of potatoes and added that to the stock along with the chicken and a can of white corn. I used a can of corn because I'm trying to use up things out of the pantry but fresh or frozen would have been my first choice. Bring to a simmer and add some cajun seasoning or other spicy type seasoning or, actually, whatever suits your fancy! When the potatoes are tender, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Then, add some heavy cream or half-n-half or milk to make it creamy and heat through but don't boil. I served the soup with a homemade rye baguette. It was very yummy and the perfect supper for a snowy day! :)
I'm sure ya'll have noticed that I'm just LOVING my new camera and now, thanks to Nancy at A Rural Journal, I have discovered pixlr, a really cool, FREE photo editing site! I was able to take one of my bee photos from this past weekend and add a layer of texture and a border in about five minutes with their Retro Vintage Effects. As I have more time to explore the site and experiment, I'm sure I will be able to do even more with my photographs. I would like to extend a very big THANK YOU to Nancy and all the other GREAT photographers out there (there are a lot!) for inspiring me to learn, experiment and expand my photographic skills!
Happy Valentine's Day everyone and it is also Arizona's 100th birthday! :)